1979 Philadelphia Phillies season

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1979 Philadelphia Phillies
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Robert "Ruly" Carpenter III
General manager(s) Paul Owens
Manager(s) Danny Ozark, Dallas Green
Local television WPHL-TV
Local radio KYW
(Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn, Andy Musser, Chris Wheeler)
Previous season     Next season

The 1979 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League East, 14 games behind the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates.

Offseason[edit]

Prior to the 1979 season, Pete Rose signed a four-year, $3.2-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, temporarily making him the highest-paid athlete in team sports. The Phillies were in the middle of the greatest era in the history of the franchise when Rose came on board. They had won the National League East three years running (1976–78) two of which were won with 101 win seasons.

The Phillies entered the 1979 season with one of the strongest lineups in the league with the addition of Rose but with numerous injuries on the pitching staff. AP sports writer Hal Bock picked the Phils to finish second behind the Pirates as the Phillies would enter the season with pitchers Larry Christenson, prospect Jim Wright, and Dick Ruthven all injured.[1]

Notable transactions[edit]

Regular season[edit]

PhilsAshburn.PNG
Richie
Ashburn

OF, TV
Retired 1979[12]

On May 17, 1979, the Phillies beat the Cubs 23-22 at Wrigley Field in ten innings with a 30-mph wind blowing out to left field.[13] After the game, the Phils were 14 games over .500 and in first place by 3½ games over the Montreal Expos.[14]

On July 10 Del Unser hit his third consecutive pinch hit home run. Unser tied a Major League Baseball record with homers in three straight pinch at bats. The at bats were on June 30, July 5, and July 10.[15]

By August 29, the team had fallen to fifth place and two games under .500, 12½ games behind the Pirates.[16] Mid-season injuries to Manny Trillo, Larry Bowa, and Greg Luzinski contributed to hurt the club. The team's decline led to the firing of manager Danny Ozark on August 31 who was replaced by Dallas Green.[17] Green was named interim manager, a position made permanent shortly after the end of the season.[18]

Alternate uniforms[edit]

The Phillies front office introduced an alternate all-burgundy version of the team uniform for the 1979 season to be worn for Saturday games.[19] They were called "Saturday Night Specials", in a derisive nod to cheap handguns then called by that name and were worn for the first and last time on May 19, 1979,[20] a 10-5 loss to the Expos.[21] The immediate reaction of the media, fans, and players alike was negative, with many describing the despised uniforms as pajama-like. As such, the idea was hastily abandoned. Mike Schmidt would wear the uniform during the MLB All-Star Tour of Japan following the 1979 season.

Season standings[edit]

NL East W L GB Pct.
Pittsburgh Pirates 98 64 -- .605
Montreal Expos 95 65 2 .594
St. Louis Cardinals 86 76 12 .531
Philadelphia Phillies 84 78 14 .519
Chicago Cubs 80 82 18 .494
New York Mets 63 99 35 .389

Notable transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1979 Philadelphia Phillies
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
1B Rose, PetePete Rose 163 628 208 .331 4 59
2B Trillo, MannyManny Trillo 118 431 112 .260 6 42

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Gross, GregGreg Gross 118 174 58 .333 0 15
Meoli, RudyRudy Meoli 30 73 13 .178 0 6
Rader, DaveDave Rader 31 54 11 .204 1 5
Poff, JohnJohn Poff 12 19 2 .105 0 1

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Carlton, SteveSteve Carlton 35 251 18 11 3.62 213
Espinosa, NinoNino Espinosa 33 212 14 12 3.65 88
Christenson, LarryLarry Christenson 19 106 5 10 4.50 53
Larson, DanDan Larson 3 19 1 1 4.26 9

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Bird, DougDoug Bird 32 2 0 0 5.16 33
Brusstar, WarrenWarren Brusstar 13 1 0 1 6.91 3

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Oklahoma City 89ers American Association Lee Elia
AA Reading Phillies Eastern League Jim Snyder
A Peninsula Pilots Carolina League Ron Clark
A Spartanburg Phillies Western Carolinas League Bill Dancy
Short-Season A Central Oregon Phillies Northwest League Tom Harmon
Rookie Helena Phillies Pioneer League Roly de Armas

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Central Oregon[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hal Bock (March 27, 1979). "Pitching holds key to Phillies' title defense". The Free-Lance Star. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  2. ^ Jeff Schneider page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/castica01.shtml
  4. ^ Pete Rose page at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Joe Charboneau page at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ Mark Davis page at Baseball-Reference
  7. ^ Manny Trillo page at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ Jose Moreno page at Baseball Reference
  9. ^ a b Rudy Meoli page at Baseball Reference
  10. ^ Dan Boitano page at Baseball Reference
  11. ^ Del Unser page at Baseball Reference
  12. ^ The Official Site of The Philadelphia Phillies: History: Richie Ashburn
  13. ^ "Box Score of Game played on Thursday, May 17, 1979, at Wrigley Field". Retrieved October 13, 2009. 
  14. ^ Standings and Games on Thursday, May 17, 1979
  15. ^ The Ballplayers - Del Unser | BaseballLibrary.com
  16. ^ Standings and Games on Wednesday, August 29, 1979
  17. ^ "Phillies dismiss Ozark as manager". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 31, 1979. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Phillies to select Dallas Green". The Bulletin. October 18, 1979. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  19. ^ Okkonen, Mark. "Dressed to the Nines: Uniform Database (1979)". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2008. 
  20. ^ Paul Lukas (August 23, 2007). "Uni Watch: One and done". Uni Watch. ESPN.com. Retrieved October 13, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Box Score of Game played on Saturday, May 19, 1979, at Veteran's Stadium". Retrieved October 13, 2009. 
  22. ^ Todd Cruz page at Baseball Reference
  23. ^ Jim Kaat page at Baseball Reference
  24. ^ Roy Smith page at Baseball Reference
  25. ^ Jim Lonborg page at Baseball Reference
  26. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007

Further reading[edit]